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Maps as culture

GeoCarta has a post on a new collection of Holy Land Maps available online. What was striking for me, in addition to the beautiful maps, was this Geocarta observation:

Most of the early maps are oriented to the east, reflecting the view point of European mapmakers looking in the direction of the Holy Land. It wasn't until the Renaissance that cartographers began drawing maps oriented to the north.

i.e. a simple 90-degree rotation in maps summarizes a key distinction between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

I also liked the subsequent tidbit: "Reviewing the collection, one can see a change toward the end of the 18th century as maps began replacing pictorial elements with symbols and legends."

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on February 12, 2007 5:10 PM.

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